MRI analysis of the size and shape of the oropharynx in chronic whiplash

James Elliott*, Emma Cannata, Eric Christensen, Joel DeMaris, John Kummrow, Erin Manning, Elizabeth Nielsen, Tomas Romero, Clifford Barnes, Gwendolen Jull

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: To quantify differences in the size/shape of the oropharynx between female subjects with whiplash and controls. Design: Retrospective cohort. Methods: A total of 113 subjects (79 whiplash, 34 controls) were included. T1-weighted MRI was used to measure 1) cross-sectional area (CSA [mm2]) and 2) shape ratios for the oropharynx. Reliability data were established. Results: Whiplash subjects had significantly smaller oropharynx CSAs (P < 0.001) and shape ratios (P < 0.001) compared with healthy controls. Self-reported levels of pain and disability and duration of symptoms were not associated with size and shape of the oropharynx in whiplash subjects (P = 0.75 and P = 0.99, respectively). Age and BMI did influence the size (P = 0.01) and shape of the oropharynx (P < 0.001) in the whiplash subjects, but only 20 to 30 percent of the variance could be explained by these factors. Conclusion: Significant difference in the size and shape of the oropharynx was noted in subjects with chronic whiplash compared with controls. Future studies are required to investigate the relationships between oropharynx morphometry and symptoms in patients with chronic whiplash.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-751
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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